What Have I Been Smoking?
This list will be a little longer than the other Rambling Session lists, as the time in between has been longer.
- Matilde Cigars Renacer Robusto - This cigar hit my palate just right from first light. Absolutely one of the best cigars I have smoked this year, at least for my palate.
- Crowned Heads Cigars Tennessee Waltz - This iteration was my first time with this blend and it made a great first impression. I was a little leery going into it, as I can be hit or miss with My Father made products. This one was an absolute hit.
- German Engineered Cigars Autonom Lineup Pack Churchill - This was my favorite vitola from the lineup pack, and was one of my favorite cigars from last year. I smoked my last one the other day and was reminded how great it is.
- Eighty5 Cigars - This cigar company was founded by Chad Ochocinco Johnson. I got samples of both blends, but I was reluctant to smoke them as I usually am with celebrity related cigars. However, both of these blends - El Patron and Boa Vida - were super solid cigars that I would recommend checking out.
- Principle Cigars - I recently brought in Principle Cigars and if you haven’t tried them, check out the sampler on my site. All of these blends are great and I really can’t get over the price point on them. It is hard for me to pick a favorite, but I will say the one that comes to my mind most often is the Accomplice Classic.
- Xhaxhi Bobi Cigars - Another recent arrival to the site is Xhaxhi Bobi. The “Small” sampler option is hard to beat. These cigars have been my go-to lately when I want a quicker smoke.
I have smoked some other things, but these were the current standouts that first came to mind and that’s good enough for me.
What’s on the Bench?
I finally finished up the Toy Cubby build for my daughter’s room a little over a week ago. I will be publishing a post about that build soon. It will be a breakdown of the whole project with an emphasis on things I learned throughout the build. It turned out pretty well (if you don’t look too hard at the joinery) for my first hand tool-only furniture build. I certainly learned a lot that I can’t wait to put to the test on some more “furniture” projects I have planned.
The timing worked out perfectly with the completion of the cubby, as I had gotten a custom made ⅛” chisel from Bingaman Knifeworks (@bingamanknifeworks on IG) in only a couple days before finishing the cubby and going on vacation. Now that we are getting settled back in and I have some walnut offcuts, I can start working on making a handle for the chisel. This is a neat project as Ryan never made a chisel before, and I never “designed” one, so this ⅛” one is kind of a test bed. I already see some things I overlooked with regards to mating with the handle, but once I get a handle on this one, I will redesign and likely have Ryan make me a 2” chisel next.
Once I get this ⅛” chisel done I will be hopping over to finish up the two necks that have been patiently waiting for me. I need the chisel for the nut slot, so it is taking precedence. The necks need a little cleanup before fretting and finishing. One of them for sure has a body for it that I should be getting back soon from the artist (@dirtyflip_ on IG) that did some custom work for it. The other will either wait for the other body to come back from him, or it will be used on another build I want to do next. We’ll see how the timing works out.
I already mentioned some new cigars that have been posted on the site above. Along with 5 different Principle Cigars offerings, 8 different Xhaxhi Bobi Cigars offerings, and the Crowned Heads Tennessee Waltz, I have also listed the Lampert Cigars Family Reserve 2022, the Lampert Cigars 1675 Edicion Morado Robusto, the Crowned Heads Cigars Le Careme Pastelitos LE 2023, and the Crowned Heads Cigars Yellow Rose. I also have a few other things I hope to get soon.
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A lot has happened since my last Rambling Session. Going to Disney World, my daughter walking, everything is greening up in a hurry, and the Celtics clinching the second seed in the east are just a few things that come to mind that I might as well talk a little bit about.
We were fortunate enough to be able to go on a trip to Disney World with my mother, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew recently. It was a great 5 day trip, and maybe the first time my wife and I weren’t really ready to come home quite yet. Day 1 (travel day) and Day 2 were a little rough. It was our first time traveling with the baby, which really wasn’t too bad since we had family to help entertain her during downtime and one the flights, but figuring out how to manage our schedule took a couple days. Once we found our groove, the rest of the trip was smooth sailing and really a great time. Obviously there were some restrictions to what we could do with a 10 month old, but even just the change in scenery from home, all the sight seeing at the parks, the beautiful resort, and the few rides we did get on made for a great experience. I am sure we will go back when she is a little older and we can all really immerse ourselves in the experience.
What made the trip a little tricky was the fact that our daughter has always been very interactive and always wanting to be on the go. She turned 10 months on March 21st, and had taken her first steps a few weeks prior. By the time we left for our trip on March 30th, she was pretty darn proficient at, and constantly, walking. This was part of what made travel a little difficult because she doesn't like to be contained. On the flip side, her walking so much is perfect for her upcoming Easter Egg hunts! I think she’ll pick up the concept quickly, and it’ll be a blast to watch. It will certainly make me question how time has gone by so fast. I mean, my baby girl will be 1 year old next month…
I was thankful that we brought some Florida weather home to Pennsylvania because everything is greening up fast and it was nice to be able to comfortably work outside in shorts and a t-shirt again. It’ll be time to get the garden cleaned up and ready, though most of that is my wife’s thing - I’m just the helper. That reminds me, I should’ve added “build garden beds” to the “What’s on the Bench?” section, because she remarked just last night about building new (or more?) garden beds.. I told her this winter we could build her dream garden, and I think all the greenery has her ready…
Speaking of green, it looks like the Celtics have clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference. I’m not sure exactly how optimistic I am for them going into the postseason. I imagine they’re going to be looking at the Heat in the first round (I’m assuming the Heat will beat the Hawks in the play-in) and the Heat are always a tough matchup for any team. Plus Jimmy Butler is on another level in the playoffs. If they get past the Heat, they will most likely run into the 76ers. I know they own the 76ers and for the 76ers to really be a threat, Harden has to be regular season Harden and not playoff Harden, but eventually he is going to play like an all-star in the postseason, and if there is a year to do it, I think this is the one for him. He has embraced his role this first full year in Philly and is playing incredibly well alongside Embiid. Plus, Embiid is just so good and so dominant.
If they survive Philly, then they have to get past the Bucks… That’s another tall order. My predictions are a Bucks vs Suns finals, with the Bucks taking the chip. The Bucks are just the best team in the league. It’s as simple as that. I would love to see the Celtics pull it off, and I think they can do it if the threes fall and they rebound the ball. When the threes aren’t going this season, they seem to struggle to adapt their offense and lose interest on defense.
All that being said, it looks like the Celtics will have all the pieces they need come the playoffs. Masked JB is playing out of his mind, the Robert Williams effect is real, Derrick White and Marcus Smart are a hell of a starting backcourt - that is legitimately an All NBA Defensive Team Backcourt, and Malcolm Brogdon has been an amazing leader off the bench. As for Jayson Tatum - ehh. I’m just not sold on him. I think the ball ends up in his hands too much (and out of his hands too much. I mean, 100 total turnovers in the 2022 playoffs?? Ouch). He is a great player, but I just don’t think he is the end all be all of the Celtics like people make him out to be.
Well, I think that’s all I really have on my mind right now. Thanks for reading, and please comment below if you have anything to say!